American Airlines and JetBlue announced plans for a Northeast-focused alliance last summer. They recently kicked off their partnership with nearly 80 codeshares, 33 new routes, schedule coordination and more. TI has outlined the major takeaways from the partnership:

Loyalty Integration

Starting on February 25, customers flying on codeshares will earn miles with the carrier through which they purchased the ticket. This spring, the airlines will also introduce reciprocal mileage earning benefits — meaning that you could purchase a ticket from American, and choose to credit it to JetBlue’s TrueBlue program (and vice versa). The airlines will also unveil reciprocal elite benefits sometime this spring.

Schedule Coordination, New Routes in Key Markets

American and JetBlue are teaming up in multiple markets, including on Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Northeast to Florida routes. Their goal in coordinating these routes is to enhance connectivity and integration. Other new routes and expansions include:

    • New American JFK Routes: American’s Airbus A321T will fly a new route from New York-JFK to Orange County, California beginning on July 2. American also announced 18 new routes to New York that will be operated by a 76-seat Embraer 175, with 11 routes offering 12 first-class recliners and 64 coach seats.
    • Expanded International Flights from JFK: American will be adding six additional international routes from JFK,  including a new long-haul flight to Santiago (SCL). Both carriers have also promised that a more “seamless” connection experience is in the works for the airport.
    • New JetBlue Flights: The New York-based carrier is adding three new LGA flights — Charleston, Denver and Martha’s Vineyard. Newark is also seeing a boost from JetBlue, with ten new routes to cities like Seattle and Cartagena.

Basic Economy Adjustments

JetBlue recently overhauled its basic economy fare structure with the elimination of carry-on bags. American recently eased up its basic economy restrictions, allowing passengers to purchase upgrades, priority boarding, extra-legroom seats and same-day changes. 

All American travelers can bring full-sized carry-on bags as well. The carriers haven’t yet announced details on basic economy restrictions for flights purchased through the partnership.

Partnership despite Airline Pilot Union challenge

Officials for both airlines are excited about the partnership, unfortunately JetBlue’s pilot union, the Air line Pilots Association (APLA) voted against the proposed partnership.  Despite this vote, JetBlue is clearly committed to moving forward and the pilot requests are under review.

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